Your Employees Are Stealing From you

timeclick imageThis happens every day and this happens everywhere.

“It’s costing companies $400 Billion annually”

According to the American Payroll Association (APA),

“Almost 75% of businesses in the U.S. are affected by what is known as ‘time theft’.”

This is when someone clocks in early, clocks out late, records inaccurate hours, has someone ‘buddy punch’ them into or out of work, takes frequent breaks, conducts personal activities or by just playing on your phone.

The APA also says,

“Time theft can cost companies up to 7% of their gross annual payroll.”

Imagine, you’re spending $1 million in payroll… That equals $70,000 each year you’re losing to theft. Maybe it’s not being done on purpose, but are you willing to sacrifice 7% of money?!

“43% of hourly workers surveyed admit to exaggerating the amount of time they work during their shifts.”

Can you even fathom the amount of money your organization is losing because people are clocking in a few minutes early or a few minutes late?

Let’s do a little math: Let’s say you’re paying your employees the ‘soon to be’ minimum wage; $15. This person is scheduled for five- 4 hour shifts equaling 20 hours a week.

Now, let’s say this person likes to clock in 5 minutes early and clock out of work 5 minutes late. That’s an additional 10 minutes they’ll be paid for each time they work. 5 shifts a week times 10 minutes equals 50 minutes.

50 minutes’ worth of pay equals $12.45… and that’s for each week for one employees. Now, that might not seem like a lot of money, but if you multiply $12.45 by 52 (weeks in a year), you get $647.40.

Those harmless 5 minutes early to work and 5 minutes leaving late just costed the company an additional $647.40 a year. That’s just ONE employee.

Can you afford to lose that much money a year? I can think of so many other things companies would prefer to spend that money on.

“Less than one-quarter record inaccurate times for their shifts. One-quarter say they exaggerate the hours worked for 76 to 100 percent of their shifts.”

That’s an insane statistic! You know there’s a way to prevent these things from happening… right?!

Biometrics clocks with finger print or capillary readers. Only 3% of the people surveys said they were able to steal time that way. Time is money people… and if you don’t protect your time, you’re going to run out of money.

If you don’t want to pay for software, you need your managers to watch this more closely. You need someone in HR running the reports to make sure time isn’t being stolen. You need to have set rules about when to clock into and out of work. Hold your people accountable and you’ll save yourself a lot of money.


In conclusion, cutting down on ‘stolen time’ can save your organization a lot of money. Paychex has established a way to make this very possible. Biometric clocks in real time directly connected with your payroll can give you a 360 degree view of where your time is being stolen. Also, you get the reporting functionality to pin point the losses.

Don’t fall victim to ‘time theft’. Let me know how I can help!


Jordan Barta is the author of The Ah-Ha Moment. Jordan works with organizations on all levels of Human Capital Management. Whether it be recruiting, onboarding, background checks, payroll, HR, time and attendance, health & benefits, 401k, cobra, workers comp or insurance, he has a network of professionals willing to execute and make your business better.

Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

If you’re looking for the statistics behind the article, please go to “43% of employees commit time theft: How software can reduce payroll losses” by research and reviews firm Software Advice.